Italian cemetery workers were caught on CCTV dismembering bodies of the recently deceased as part of a scam that offered a supposed cheap alternative to cremation.
The macabre footage was taken at the Prima Porta cemetery in Rome and shows workers of the AMA SpA corporation, an environmental management service company contracted by the Rome city government, dismembering corpses in order to throw them into a mass grave.
The AMA employees, along with local funeral directors, scammed families by offering what they called a cheap alternative to those who could not afford to have their relative cremated or afford the steep cost of a burial, newspaper Il Giornale reports.
The victims of the scam were then given pots with some sort of dust in them, not of their relatives who had actually been buried in a mass grave in a special area of the cemetery.
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Carabinieri investigators placed the CCTV cameras around the cemetery after suspicions were raised and caught AMA employees dismembering the corpses in broad daylight, with funeral directors allegedly covering for them.
The investigators say there are at least ten cases they are currently investigating and 15 people are under investigation for fraud, corruption, and tampering with a corpse.
The scam also comes after Italy has seen a surge of funerals due to deaths caused by Wuhan virus infections, with many family members unable to have proper funeral ceremonies in areas most affected by the virus outbreak.
Last year, Italy saw another controversy relating to a cemetery when crosses on graves in a cemetery in Pieve di Cento were covered up with a black cloth, allegedly to not offend those from other religions.
Forza Italia (Forward Italy) deputy Galeazzo Bignami slammed the move at the time, saying: “If the administrators are ashamed of our tradition and our culture, they should go and hide themselves and not just behind a motorised tent. If they are not able to bring respect for the living at least they have the decency to leave the dead alone and not involve them in foolishness.”
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